1996 Federal 100 Winners

(Titles reflect positions held in 1995.)

Kathleen AdamsAssociate CommissionerOffice of Systems Design and DevelopmentSocial Security Administration

The most frightening aspect of 2000 may be what it does to the nation's computers: Many will abort programs or spit out gibberish as the software fails to recognize a year ending in "00."

Adams, who chairs the federal government's Year 2000 Interagency Committee, is the point person for preparing agencies and ensuring that federal systems don't melt down when 2000 arrives.

The biggest task last year was missionary work—making agencies aware of the dangers. The word is getting out. The committee's membership has grown from a sprinkling of agencies to more than 20. Besides developing seminars for agencies, the committee is evaluating ways for agencies to exchange date-sensitive information and is working with vendors to ensure their products are compliant with the new year's changes.

Adams became an expert on 2000 while spearheading the effort to rewrite programming code at SSA, where the millennium change is a mammoth problem. SSA must change as many as 40 million lines of code, a job that will take an estimated 300 work-years.

Her greatest challenge will be convincing agencies that face tighter budgets to start spending money now to fix code. "The year 2000 is four years away," she said. "That's a long way off for many agencies to begin thinking about."

* * *

W. Lee AkridgeDirector, Communications Networks and ProductsIntegrated Engineering DivisionTRW Inc.

Akridge won a federal procurement marathon of sorts last September when the Treasury Department awarded TRW Inc. the $425 million Treasury Communications System.

As leader of TRW's four-year pursuit of TCS, he was able to accomplish two critical tasks: convince TRW management to continue investing in the procurement and keep the proposal team together and focused.

As TCS ran into numerous delays and threats to its very survival, Akridge "had to continually sell his management [on TCS]," said one executive familiar with the bid. His leadership was a key factor in TRW's winning solution to the hotly contested contract. Industry observers described the win as an upset.

Akridge is a longtime TRW employee, having joined the company in 1965. During his career, he has developed Apollo mission plans and managed a space shuttle launch-and-landing operations analysis project, which one executive suggested was perfect training for TCS.

* * *

Carlos A. AriasComputer OperatorDirectorate of Public Works Engineering Systems BranchFort Jackson, S.C.Department of the Army

Arias is an example of many unsung federal workers who quietly make a difference in difficult conditions with few resources.

A GS-7, he has designed and installed several local-area networks with large helpings of initiative and self-tutoring. He is known for his resourcefulness and his ability to fix anything that comes his way.

"He is without a doubt our superman here at Fort Jackson," said Marvin Berg, chief of the engineering systems branch, Business Management Division, Directorate of Public Works. "He has a depth of understanding about ADP and LANs that no one else has here."

Although he is not a design engineer, Arias has built a LAN from the ground up to connect 200 workstations. He even built one server himself from the motherboard up.

Having everyone in the directorate on a LAN has increased productivity throughout the organization and has given everyone access to the same software and utilities. Arias' work has paid off in other ways: His bosses say it has propelled their organization ahead of other similar Army facilities worldwide.

* * *

Peg J. ArnoldSenior Contract SpecialistDepartment of Energy

Arnold has been the untiring champion for the Government Acquisition Through Electronic Commerce (GATEC) program, the first project to prove electronic commerce could be applied to government.

As leader of the Air Force team that created GATEC at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, she fought a losing battle to have it adopted for Defensewide deployment. However, GATEC has found a second life at the Department of Energy, where Arnold now works. DOE was looking for ways to establish EC for itself, and Arnold was instrumental in getting management to consider GATEC as one possibility.

Colleagues say Arnold didn't force her knowledge of GATEC onto the Energy EC Task Force members. Instead, she proved adept at listening to the needs and objections of others and then tailoring her recommendations around them.Arnold began her government career at Fort Monmouth, N.J., in 1965. After a spell with the Army Procurement Center in Frankfurt, Germany, she moved to the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson and stayed there for 25 years.

Last year she was commended by the Office of the President for her expertise in procurement and EC and for her contributions to the president's governmentwide EC initiative.

* * *

Sandra BatesDirectorCommunications Systems BranchNASA

Although people at agencies across government have grumbled under their breath about what they want changed in their telecommunications service, it has been Bates' job as chairwoman of the Interagency Management Council to give those views weight and form.

The IMC, a group of telecom experts from federal agencies, acts as a kind of board of directors for the General Services Administration's FTS 2000 operations. As chairwoman, Bates sets the agenda and the tone for what the users want to see accomplished. Bates pushed for a more integrated telecom approach and advocated merging local and long-distance programs.

In addition, she spurred GSA to reduce local telephone service rates throughout the country.

David Bittenbender, chief of telecom at the Environmental Protection Agency and Bates' successor as head of the IMC, said she successfully pushed the merger of local and long-distance programs through, despite objections from prominent officials at GSA and other agencies. "She kept the IMC focused on it and didn't let it fall through the cracks," he said. "It was very controversial, and she really tried to keep a level-headed strategic view on the whole thing.

"There are some people who chair a group who never seem able to come to closure on things," he added. "But with Sandy—even if there is a half-hour discussion on something—once we're done, we're done. On top of that, she really has a good, clear understanding of telecom technology."

This year Bates agreed to try her hand at running the day-to-day operations of FTS 2000. She accepted a post as assistance commissioner for service delivery at GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service.

* * *

Edward H. BersoffPresident, Chief Executive and ChairmanBTG Inc.

Bersoff stood up for the information technology community during the government's longest-ever shutdown, which idled thousands of workers around the Beltway.

He was a key player among the area executives working to focus attention on the business impact of the shutdown. Bersoff participated in Capitol Hill press conferences and was outspoken in his assessment of the situation, describing warring federal leaders as a "pack of petulant politicians."

Although Bersoff was particularly vocal during the government's closure, he is no stranger to IT advocacy. His work with associations includes his role as chairman of the Professional Services Council and international vice president of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association executive committee. Bersoff had previously been chairman of the board of directors for the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Technology Work Group of the Virginia Economic Recovery Commission.

Indeed, Bersoff is noted for his vigor in supporting his industry and community.

"I don't know how he has time to run the business," said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). "Ed has got a real vision for the industry, the region and his community."

But he obviously finds time for business, as BTG has grown to the second-largest schedule reseller and an integrator capable of winning large contracts.

* * *

David A. BittenbenderChief, Network Services BranchEnvironmental Protection Agency

As head of the IMC's subcommittee that reviewed GSA's telecommunications service, Bittenbender was a key player in pushing GSA's consolidation of local and long-distance services.

His accomplishment, colleagues said, was being able to cut through the strong feelings people had about the issue to address the underlying problem: Should GSA consolidate the services?

"He got it out of the emotional track it was in," one colleague said, by polling users and finding there was little difference between local and long-distance service and that users thought the two should be combined.

Partly as a result of his efforts on the IMC, he has been chosen this year as chairman to replace Sandra Bates.

At the EPA, Bittenbender is responsible for all aspects of the agency's telecommunications, including wide-area networks, local-area networks, voice communications, videoconferencing, radio frequency management and international communications.

* * *

Bruce BrignullAssistant Commissioner for Service DevelopmentFederal Telecommunications ServiceGeneral Services Administration

If Federal 100 awards were given on the basis of popularity with the telecommunications industry, Brignull would probably never make the list. But judged on the basis of his work on behalf of the government and taxpayers, few people in the telecom arena deserve the award more.

Brignull led the team that negotiated with AT&T and Sprint for long-distance prices 33 percent lower than those vendors previously offered on the FTS 2000 networks. According to Bob Woods, GSA's commissioner for FTS, the new rates will save $200 million a year.

"Bruce withstood protests and suits from both vendors and asserted the government's power to extract the best prices from industry," Woods said. "Not only did he manage the thing, but he was clearly involved in deciding what strategies to take to get better best-and-final offers."

If his successes with the FTS 2000 price redetermination weren't enough, Brignull also heads the team assembling a solicitation for the next-generation federal long-distance network, known as Post-FTS 2000. Brignull's proposed acquisition strategy became a lightning rod for industry criticism.

FTS 2000 program officials recently altered the acquisition strategy in response to industry complaints, and Brignull is now working on a request for proposals that will come out this summer. As Woods recently put it, Brignull "has had a big year."

* * *

Ellen B. BrownProcurement CounselHouse Committee on Government Reform and Oversight

Shepherding legislation through Congress is always one of the toughest assignments in Washington. As a top aide to Rep. William Clinger (R-Pa.), sponsor of a landmark procurement reform bill, Brown needed nerves of steel to maneuver Clinger's vision into law.

Clinger wanted radical change in the acquisition system. Brown found a way to translate those ideas into legislative language and then lined up enough support in the House among vendors and in the administration to get them enacted. Anticipating that the 1996 election year would be one in which any bill might be difficult to pass, she had to get it done in one session of Congress.

Less-controversial procurement bills had taken years to develop, and many procurement practitioners were skeptical anything could happen last year. Brown proved them wrong, drawing on her political skills and more than 15 years of working in procurement policy to navigate the bill through two floor fights and then to negotiate with the Senate to keep Clinger's legislative objectives intact.

"She was very tenacious, very aggressive and very forward thinking," said Chuck Wheeler, a former House Government Operations Committee aide himself. "She put together a bill that fundamentally changed the way the procurement system operates."

* * *

Norman BrownCoordinatorSoftware Program Managers NetworkNaval Information Systems Management CenterDepartment of the Navy

Brown behaves like an entrepreneur despite the fact that he is a Navy civil servant smack in the midst of a bureaucracy. But rather than toting up profits, his energies are spent trying to convince DOD executives to practice better software acquisition.

Last year he tackled this persistent problem with characteristic gusto, gathering examples of situations that worked, creating a network of professionals to share information, producing training programs to educate others and printing a series of best-practice publications to explain basic principles.

The DOD Software Acquisition Best Practices initiative, for example, has culled valuable ideas and advice from industry and created publications for DOD project managers.

The Software Program Managers Network has become a key channel for distributing information and otherwise keeping dialogue open among project managers. It has distributed more than 23,000 pocket-size booklets, including more than 5,000 each of "The Little Yellow Book of Management Questions" and "Project Breathalyzer," which approaches project management in simple terms: If you answer "no" to any of these questions, get off the road.

Brown is legendary for his persistent efforts to get top talent in government and industry involved in programs that tackle pressing software acquisition and management issues.

"He can get 16 inflated egos in a room, keep it civil, keep it on track, and everybody feels like he is having a great time," one industry executive said.

* * *

Paul BrubakerDeputy Staff DirectorSenate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government ManagementAnd the District of Columbia

"Bold ideas" were the watchwords of the first session of the new Republican-controlled Congress, and some of the boldest came from the direction of Brubaker. As he shepherded IT management and procurement reform legislation for his boss, Sen. William Cohen (R-Maine), Brubaker wasn't afraid to take advantage of the opportunity to sweep 30 years of regulation off the books.

Brubaker "sent a wrecking ball into the procurement bureaucracy," according to Don Upson, a former staff director of the House Government Operations Committee. Brubaker pushed proposals to repeal the Brooks Act and end the bid-protest jurisdiction of the General Services Administration's Board of Contract Appeals.

While popular with agencies, neither idea was fully embraced by federal contractors. Some worked hard to oppose them. But Brubaker, while remaining open to suggestions from industry, stuck to his guns about what was needed to improve the system.

His House counterpart, Ellen Brown, said Brubaker was a tough negotiator who understood what needed to be done to accomplish Cohen's and the House's similar, but differently envisioned, goals.

"Paul had a vision and continued to push that vision throughout the process," she said. "We all wanted to get to the same point, and Paul was very cooperative in working to get us there."

* * *

Tom BuchsbaumExecutive Vice PresidentPublic Sector and EducationZenith Data Systems

It doesn't take an accountant (although he is one) to figure out that ZDS sold a boatload of computers to DOD last year on the Desktop IV contract. Nor does it take special skills to discover that the man most responsible for those sales has been there before. Buchsbaum was part of ZDS' winning effort on Desktop II, the bonanza contract that ended up shipping more than 400,000 computers.

On Desktop IV, ZDS consistently outsold its competition on the contract by nearly 50,000 machines. In the process, both contract holders refreshed the technology frequently.

Buchsbaum's blend of education and skills—computer science, business and accounting—have helped propel ZDS into its coveted spot as a premier DOD computer supplier and marketeer.

Not one to miss a sales opportunity while waiting out the interregnum between desktop contracts, ZDS is offering Desktop IV machines to buyers off the GSA schedule at Desktop IV prices.

* * *

Michelle ButlerSenior System EngineerNational Center for Supercomputing Applications

Butler was the key player in creating the technology infrastructure for the largest participatory democracy event ever held on-line: the National Electronic Open Meeting, called "People and Their Governments in the Information Age."

From May 1 to May 14, 1995, some 10,000 people participated in the event, sponsored by four federal organizations, via e-mail, listserv, Usenet newsgroups and the World Wide Web. Butler set up the original network and then created a mirror system in case of an outage. As numbers grew and the users threatened to swamp the system, Butler became a cyberspace firefighter with round-robin load leveling going on in real time.

Two new computer facilities were added while the meeting was under way. It was her technical know-how and "fantastic" managerial skills that enabled her to put out the fires, colleagues agreed.

"She is an incredibly good facilitator of communication between different people," one colleague said. "She was able to get on the line with technical folks and policy folks and allay their concerns."

* * *

John L. CabralADPEM Branch ChiefDepartment of State

Cabral brought private-sector skills to State and married them with a rare instinct for knowing how to get things done in government.

"He's a breath of fresh air," said John Smith, the ADP program manager at State. "He's a very customer-oriented person. He understands how to get things done and how to deal with people."

Cabral created from the ground up an ADP Equipment Maintenance Branch that in just three years grew to service 23 bureaus in State, representing 80 percent of its ADP/OA equipment. The program saved the bureaus almost $3.6 million last fiscal year and amassed more than $1 million worth of spare parts, mostly for Wang legacy equipment.

The maintenance branch offers on-call service at per-call prices so bureaus that need equipment maintenance can get an in-house technician to do the work, and they will only pay for the service they receive. Cabral also established a walk-in parts center so users can change monitors and keyboards when they need to.

Cabral's work has made the department demonstrably more self-sufficient, colleagues said, by reducing maintenance costs and the department's dependency on a single vendor for maintenance.

* * *

Helen CampbellArea ManagerSouthwestern Bell Telephone Co.

When the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed last April, it was GSA that had the responsibility for quickly restoring telecommunications services to the area. And it was Campbell it turned to as its industry pointman.

Sylvia Hernandez, the GSA official in charge, said she could not have done the job without the help of Campbell. She initially asked Campbell, Southwestern Bell's area manager in Norman, Okla., to help in a last-minute effort to set up two telecommuting centers for Oklahoma City federal workers, Hernandez said, although Campbell ended up doing a lot more than that.

"Helen was invaluable to me," Hernandez said. "Because it was such a chaotic time, I needed a single person [at Southwestern Bell] to help me. She became that person."

Hernandez said Campbell was always available, even taking midnight calls at home. She also helped install new circuits, deliver telecom equipment to users, train them and follow up with them if questions arose. Throughout the ordeal, Campbell displayed extraordinary sensitivity to the federal workers, many of whom had lost co-workers, Hernandez said.

"She knew many of the people she was helping," Hernandez said. "They were concerned with life-and-death issues, so she was careful not to overload them with technical data."

Ken Douglas, director of GSA's Technical Services Division in the region, praised Campbell's technical expertise as well as her ability to locate equipment for the centers from numerous sources.

"The telecommuting centers would never have been implemented within 10 days without Helen Campbell and her staff," he said.

* * *

Harry CarrDefense Markets Vice PresidentAT&T Business Communications Services, Government Markets

A competitor once said Carr had "the toughest marketing job of any company selling to DOD: No matter what he does, he's going to end up losing some business."

That may yet prove true when the Defense Information Systems Agency awards the Defense Information Systems Network contract this summer. So far, though, Carr has not only managed to hold onto most of DOD's domestic traffic on the Defense Commercial Telecommunications Network contract, but he has managed to gain additional traffic plus a sole-source extension of DCTN for more than a year.

In the process, Carr and AT&T have withstood a barrage of protests and court actions, not only prevailing but emerging even stronger as a result. A lawyer by training, Carr also is not afraid to file his own protest, even if it means going up against his principal customer: DISA. The reason: Even in an era of widespread telecommunications competition and options, Carr firmly believes that AT&T offers DOD not only the most cost-effective but the most secure and reliable solution.

As a result of his success in the tough government market, Carr has picked up an even tougher assignment as head of AT&T's efforts to develop local service for the company in the Bell Atlantic region. Even his competitors agree that Carr is the right man for the job.

* * *

Eliot ChristianChiefData and Information Management StaffU.S. Geological Survey

When it was first proposed, the Government Information Locator Service (GILS) was seen as the gateway for access to agencies' publicly available information, but it was Christian who made the concept a reality.

It was largely due to his efforts that GILS was included as part of the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-130 and the Paperwork Reduction Act—essential moves if GILS was to be taken seriously by the government fraternity. Christian also took it on himself to be an evangelist for GILS, spreading the word to federal agencies that are implementing it.

Beyond the federal confines, Christian has worked to gain the support of commercial companies and other governments that are involved in creating technology and policies on information dissemination.

Because of Christian's work, all information recorded for public use will be referenced in the future in a single system so citizens can find the information they're looking for easily.

* * *

William F. Clinger Jr.MemberU.S. House of Representatives

Clinger (R-Pa.) is not one to rest on his laurels. An enthusiastic backer of the 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA), he believed still more could be done, and when Republicans took control of the House and he became chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, he set about doing it.

Clinger was determined to shake up the system by challenging two sacred doctrines of the federal procurement system: full and open competition and bid protest procedures, as well as peeling away layers of rules that made it harder for agencies to buy off-the-shelf products.

The resulting bill proved as contentious as any proposed during that first session. It divided the government contracting community, leading to two floor fights and much behind-the-scenes maneuvering by vendors who opposed the measure.

With traditional GOP constituencies also opposed and the White House as an ardent backer, it must have been tempting at times to abandon the effort. But Clinger personally lobbied his colleagues to beat the political odds.

"He showed a whole lot of spine as he was attacked vehemently" by opponents of the legislation, said Bruce Leinster, an IBM Corp. executive who backed the bill.

The measure that finally became law was more far-reaching than most procurement practitioners thought possible. And the responsibility for that goes directly to Clinger.

"Bill and I share the goal of making government procurement more efficient," said co-sponsor Rep. Floyd Spence (R-S.C.). "However, the bill would not be law today if not for Bill Clinger's dedication, persistence and leadership."

* * *

Michael CocchiolaDirectorDefense Printing Service

Transforming a bureaucracy accustomed to pushing paper into one comfortable with the electronic age is never easy. For Cocchiola, the challenge is even greater, for he is transforming the creator of much of that paper: the Defense Printing Service.

Last year Cocchiola's organization embarked on a project to convert millions of pages of DOD technical manuals into digital form. This will make weapons systems documentation easier to access and manage.

The conversion project is also noted for opting for Adobe Systems Inc.'s Portable Document Format over the Pentagon-sanctioned Standard Generalized Markup Language. Cocchiola believes this choice will save money because PDF conversion costs less than $4 a page, while SGML conversion ranges from $8 to $40 a page.

Cocchiola appears to be well-matched to the challenge of having government organizations act more like commercial entities.

"He has a high level of energy, and he has his whole organization moving to that level," said James O'Donnell, manager of corporate business development at Eastman Kodak Co., the Automated Document Management and Publishing System prime contractor. He added that Cocchiola has instilled "a strong sense of customer focus" at DPS.

* * *

William S. CohenMemberU.S. Senate

Government and industry were still celebrating the 1994 passage of FASA when Cohen (R-Maine) spilled champagne on the carpet. Major flaws remained in the way agencies planned, purchased and managed IT, and he intended to fix them.

Three months later Cohen was running a Senate subcommittee in charge of making sure government worked. From there, he launched his successful effort to make sweeping changes in how agencies manage IT, with proposals to sweep away 30 years of regulation under the Brooks Act.

Although new to IT management issues, Cohen had previously championed legislation to make agencies more accountable for their performance. He figured the same principles should and could apply to planning and buying IT.

Many of Cohen's Senate colleagues, weary from the previous year's procurement reform journey, were reluctant to take the issue on again. But Cohen, a respected thinker with friends on both sides of the aisle, persuaded them to dash ahead.

Cohen's backers say that move took bold leadership. He maneuvered around potential political roadblocks, making key compromises with the Clinton administration and, mirroring a tactic of the House, convincing the Senate Armed Services Committee to let him attach his bill to the fast-track Defense authorization bill.

Recognizing the opportunity for action, he quietly continued to push the bill as opponents were attempting to stall it. And when it came time to negotiate with the House, Cohen stood his ground on contentious proposals.

* * *

Rhoda M.G. DavisDirector for Strategic ManagementSocial Security Administration

Davis was SSA's first director for strategic management. As such, she has been responsible for translating business process re-engineering plans into payoffs of time and money for SSA's customers and taxpayers.

Following her redesign of the disability claims process in 1994—cutting by more than half the time it takes to process disability claims while reducing the possibility for fraud—she has moved on to apply the process to other programs.

IT lies at the core of the reforms, which Shirley Chater, commissioner at SSA, has called the agency's highest priority. SSA will achieve its goals through new technologies such as e-mail, videoconferencing and document imaging, starting later this year.

After creating the re-engineering process, she managed to find common ground among a broad range of players—including state governments, federal employee unions and interest groups that represent SSA clients—to gain acceptance for the reforms.

"It really was quite a significant undertaking," said Renato DiPentima, the former deputy commissioner for systems at SSA who's now at Systems Research and Applications Corp.

Davis retired from the government March 1 after spending her entire career at SSA.

* * *

Manny De VeraDirectorComputer Acquisition CenterNational Institutes of Health

De Vera ensured the government didn't miss out on one of the hottest technology trends of the '90s: shopping over the Internet. He was the mastermind behind the NIH Electronic Computer Store, a virtual shopping mall where government employees can shop for PCs, printers and software over the World Wide Web.

Frank Hartel, head of information resources management at NIH, said De Vera's true stroke of genius was enlisting 17 hardware and software vendors to accept the risk of competing over the Internet for business from any government agency. In return, the vendors were not required to go through a complex and costly bid process.

"The use of the Web is almost incidental here," Hartel said. "What's really important is that Manny was alert to a revolution that was going on in the procurement community, and he didn't hesitate. With no precedent on which to rely, he built in risk-sharing with partners."

* * *

Portia B. DischingerOperational ManagerNASA ADP Consolidation CenterMarshall Space Flight CenterNASA

Dischinger is one of the space agency's sharpest leaders in its program to blast into the 21st century with a more cohesive, more customer-focused IT strategy.

In an overall effort to make NASA data centers more responsive to the needs of users, Dischinger took the lead in consolidating the agency's widespread centers into one NACC at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Among other chores, she moved hardware, re-engineered communications, transitioned software and arranged for software support—all within a short time frame. Dischinger took the challenge and made it a success. She developed a technically efficient and well-managed center serving six NASA research centers and the Michoud Assembly Facility. The NACC now holds daily teleconferences with those customer locations.

* * *

Robert DolanActing DirectorDivision of Systems ManagementIndian Health Service

Dolan turned the familiar nightmare of behind-schedule and over-budget procurements on its ear when he upgraded IHS' medical systems at 72 sites for almost half the $25 million budget and finished six months early.

Colleagues attribute Dolan's efficiency to a desire to step out of the manager's office and onto the shop floor. "A lot of times, senior managers make a decision and hand it off to someone else to carry out," said David Rey, program manager at Severn Cos. Inc., the primary vendor for the IHS upgrade. "But Bob was frequently at the drawing board and talking to everyone at all the different sites."

Through Dolan's innovative techniques, such as consolidating maintenance, IHS was able to save millions of dollars. That move freed up several full-time staff members at IHS and Severn who processed maintenance invoices and saved more than 100 staff-hours each month.

* * *

John DyeDeputy Assistant Inspector General for AuditingSmall Business Administration

Dye, a former newspaper reporter and editor, shepherded the formation of IGnet into an electronic "one-stop shop" where more than 25 inspectors general publish reports and other materials on the Internet.

His swift progress can be measured by the fact that publications from only one IG appeared on IGnet when he became project director last year.

The site, which was Gopher-based at the time, now has a substantial World Wide Web presence and operates as a virtual library for IG-related information and activities.

And all this from someone who, at best, works on IT part time. "John is not a computer specialist," said June Gibbs Brown, inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services. "Rather, he considers himself a generalist who can envision the opportunities provided via the Internet."

Dye's employment history, which includes auditing and management jobs at six agencies, may have served him well in his efforts to enlist cooperation and contributions from so many different offices.

* * *

Patricia N. EdforsDirector, Computer and Telecommunications Security StaffDepartment of Justice

Although tight budgets may make it difficult for federal agencies to find resources for computer security, they can still take advantage of the lessons learned at other agencies by tapping into a couple of databases set up by Edfors last year.

Edfors was instrumental in developing the Computer Security Alert Database and the Vendor Patch Database, resources that make up a national clearinghouse that computer users can access to learn about security breaches throughout government.

Now that agencies are depending more on the Internet for offering services and information, security is becoming even more important. "She's leading the efforts to elevate the awareness in government of the vulnerability of moving information over the Internet," said Donald Scott, vice president of government relations at GTE Government Systems Corp. "This is very important stuff."

Unfortunately for Edfors, the Justice Department closed down her Computer and Telecommunications Security Staff office when the IRM Division reorganized. Edfors is now warning about security breaches in her role as Champion for Security and Privacy for the Government Information Technology Services' Working Group.

The change hasn't dampened Edfors spirit and determination, according to those who know her. "She really believes in what she's doing," said F. Lynn McNulty, who retired last year as associate director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to start up a consulting firm, McNulty & Associates.

* * *

Vern EhlersMemberU.S. House of Representatives

Someday, when citizens are able to hold an electronic dialogue with their representatives in Congress, Ehlers (R-Mich.) will get much of the credit for making it happen. As chairman of the House Computer and Information Services Working Group, Ehlers developed and began to implement a plan to bring the House into the cyber age.

When Newt Gingrich tapped Ehlers for the role last year, there was no doubt he was up to the task. He had automated the Michigan Senate when he was a legislator there in the late 1980s. Then-Senate Majority Leader John Engler, who later became governor of Michigan and part of the Republicans' inner circle, last year recommended Ehlers when Gingrich was looking for someone to interconnect the House GOP caucus.

Although a physicist by training, Ehlers used his political skills to get 435 House offices plus dozens of committee staffs and district offices to subscribe to common office automation tools, groupware and Internet services.

He notes that many of the budget-conscious House members are only beginning to realize that "they are going to have to spend $50,000 on equipment to be part of the revolution." But, Ehlers figures, "they've already gotten more than their money's worth from the dinosaurs on their desks."

* * *

Robert S. FeitlinBase Network ManagerDepartment of the Air Force

Feitlin has been described as a "revolutionary" for bringing Luke Air Force Base out of the network dark ages and into the world of Asynchronous Transfer Mode and Fiber Distributed Data Interface in less than a year.

Feitlin designed a metropolitan-area network for the base that provides ATM links to FDDI rings—a move that will meet Air Force-established standards about five years ahead of schedule.

"He has provided sorely needed technical guidance for Luke Air Force Base," said 2nd. Lt. Brian Munoz, chief of the Base Network Control Center. "He's only been here a year, and within that time he has developed an architecture plan that will take us well into the next century."

The new network improves many systems Luke relies on for its day-to-day work. For example, the Standard Base Supply System LAN can now perform near real-time order processing for aircraft parts. Feitlin also laid the groundwork for an e-mail system that will eventually connect all 7,000 employees on the base.

* * *

Shirley FieldsDepartment HeadDefense Information Infrastructure Hardware/Software Management DepartmentDefense Information Systems Agency

Millions of dollars worth of old DOD computers are now in the hands of students who need them, thanks to Fields' tireless work on DISA's Educational Institutions Partnership Program (EIPP).

As program manager, Fields has spearheaded an initiative to donate old DOD computer equipment to schools, colleges and universities where such resources are sorely needed, including historically black colleges and universities and minority institutions. Under her guidance, the program grew by more than 75 percent last fiscal year, with more than 1,000 institutions receiving more than $70 million in equipment.

Fields, who manages EIPP in addition to her regular duties, does not want people to think she is running a social welfare program; DOD does not give away any equipment until after offering it to other Defense and civilian agencies. But by properly tracking these resources, the department has an opportunity to contribute otherwise unneeded equipment to places where it can make a big difference. Both DISA chief Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds and assistant secretary of Defense Emmett Paige Jr. have referred schools to the program.

Fields' success with EIPP reflects her potent mix of conscientiousness and persistence, her co-workers said. "She has a high degree of integrity, of wanting to do the right thing," said Diann McCoy, deputy commander at DISA's center for computer systems engineering. "She gets everybody else to do the right thing, but she's pleasant in her persistence."

* * *

Jack L. FinleyProgram ManagerE-Mail PMOGeneral Services Administration

Finley is developing the comprehensive strategy for electronic messaging throughout the government. He established the governmentwide functional requirements for electronic messaging and has gotten high-level participation from agencies in the effort.

In addition, he prototyped an X.500 directory, or electronic white pages—the largest e-mail directory project even undertaken. The service, which will link to other directories in the agencies, will include a query system to help users locate the electronic address of any federal employee with access to an e-mail system.

He has also completed a draft of the functional requirements for e-mail and released them on-line.

* * *

Milo FogleMajor, U.S. Air ForceDeputy DirectorLocal-Area NetworksHeadquarters, 38th EngineeringInstallation Wing (38th EIW)ULANA Program Office

Air Force and civilian agency users who eventually find themselves conversing via desktop video cameras can thank Fogle, who spearheaded the team that awarded the contract that will bring users' networks into the 21st century.

Thanks to Fogle, users throughout the federal government can order hundreds of state-of-the-art networking products—including desktop video and ATM LAN switches—through the easy-to-use, one-stop-shopping ULANA II catalog.

In the view of Col. William Gift, director of programs at the 38th EIW, the ULANA II catalog "has accomplished for the DOD networking community what paved highways have done for the auto industry." And Gift said the credit for managing this tough acquisition rests with Fogle.

Fogle avoided serious delays on the $1 billion-plus ULANA II award by following a strategy that had protest avoidance built in. He realized that thorough and detailed debriefings go a long way toward mollifying disgruntled losers. And according to Gift, these worked so well that DISA will base its debriefing process on Fogle's methods.

Fogle also adopted a streamlined contracting approach that resulted in 33 percent manpower savings when compared with similar acquisitions. In addition, he reduced the six-month product validation period to 45 days and developed a user's guide that helped reduce ordering time by one-third.

* * *

Gerald GatesAdministrative Records Program OfficerU.S. Bureau of the Census

Gates has mastered the controversial balancing act of weighing citizens' rights to privacy against the needs of the federal government for data on its constituents.

As Census' primary voice for privacy policy, Gates protects individual privacy while negotiating with other federal agencies the terms under which they may use census data.

A natural for chairing the administration's extremely active Privacy Working Group, Gates brought a particular sensibility and reasonableness to the group's work. The group's report, "Principles for Providing and Using Personal Information," successfully balanced the views of its diverse members and described how personal privacy will be protected on the information superhighway.

"Gerry has been working tirelessly for a decade to reconcile two conflicting concerns of Americans: their worry that computers will invade their privacy and their desire to let computers reduce the burden on them of providing data," Census director Martha Farnsworth Riche said.

* * *

John GaussRear Admiral, U.S. NavyDirector, JointInteroperability Engineering OrganizationDefense Information Systems Agency

Gauss has such a commitment to his job that he has slapped "D6 JIEO" license plates on his silver Pontiac Fiero—a vehicle that spent much of the past year standing still at DISA headquarters as Gauss labored to make the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) a reality.

By eschewing grand visions and focusing on the basic GCCS building block, the Common Operating Environment (COE), Gauss said he ensured the program ran nearly on time and on budget. He said the GCCS COE brought to the Unix world the same kind of order and structure that Microsoft brought to the operating system for PCs. Consequently, it helped overcome tri-service rivalries by presenting a structure that allowed the services to incorporate existing systems into GCCS.

Now he's ready to use that same core COE as the basis for fielding the Global Combat Support System (GCSS), which eventually will allow commanders to tap into logistics and tactical/strategic data bases from the same workstation.

The ability to deliver real products has earned Gauss backing not only within DOD and DISA but also in Congress, which has given him the best compliment the Hill can render: hefty, earmarked funding for GCSS.

* * *

Darrell GoodenComputer SpecialistPort Hueneme DivisionNaval Surface Warfare CenterDepartment of the Navy

Provisioning analyst Gooden and a colleague recognized a need for better provisioning tools in the Navy, so they developed one that could save the service up to $900 million.

Their Expert System for Provisioning (ESP) took everything the experts knew about provisioning ships and encapsulated it in a computer program. Five years after they began, ESP Release 1.0 is on the verge of being installed in provisioning shops throughout the Navy, with the Army and the Air Force considering their own versions.

Gooden and his cohort, Brent Bolner, who has since left the Navy to join Computer Sciences Corp., worked side by side at Port Hueneme studying how to increase the rate and quality of provisioning. Since that time, Gooden has been "up to his eyeballs" in ESP, selling the project to the Navy and getting it ready for release. "His reputation is on the hook," said one contractor familiar with the project.

People who know Gooden aren't worried about his prospects. Beta releases of the program—or just portions of the program—have already been deployed at several sites, with remarkable results. In one case, a provisioning job that would have taken eight and a half months actually took only three and a half months.

* * *

Gayle F. GordonActing DirectorOffice of Information Resources ManagementDepartment of the Interior

Gordon chairs the IT Innovation Fund Working Group, a six-member group that finances creative IT projects in the government. Under her leadership, the IT fund has been transformed from a source of handouts to a self-replenishing account.

Under the fund's new business practices, an agency uses the savings from a successful project to pay back the fund's initial "investment," creating a self-sustaining source of funds for future projects, like a venture capital fund. The rest of the savings go to taxpayers in the form of lower agency budgets and to the agency that developed the new project.

The fund, a National Performance Review recommendation created last year from FTS 2000 savings, awarded about $5 million last year to four projects. One such project was the Environmental Data Index, which collects environmental data from various agencies and makes it available in one database. This year $8 million to $11 million will be awarded.

Competition is fierce and includes heavy lobbying from agencies vying for the money. It's not a job for the faint of heart. "It takes somebody special to step up and do this; it's not easy," said Jim Flyzik, director of the Office of Telecommunications Management at the Department of the Treasury.

* * *

Kent N. GrahamDeputy Director for Architecture ManagementOffice of the Director for Information Systems for C4Department of the Army

The Army's plan to digitize the battlefield marks a sweeping change in doctrine and tactics, requiring a new underlying information architecture that is as key to the digitization effort as the flintlock is to a musket.

Put simply, the Army's Force XXI digitization program intends to make the exchange of digital information—mapping position and location—the key technology to empower its forces in the next century.

Graham helped develop the underlying architecture that will make this possible.

The Army Technical Architecture will make it easy for all information systems in Force XXI—ranging from a spotter scope carried by an infantryman to the radar on an Apache helicopter—to exchange information.

The standards-based architecture will also apply to Army information systems, which eventually should allow the operators of a weapons system to easily request more fuel or ammunition from a soldier at a logistics computer system.

Graham and his team had to work against tight deadlines in developing the architecture, delivering a finished product in slightly more than a year to DISC4. That architecture was mandated as the single source for information standards within the service and was adopted by representatives of the other services, the Joint Chiefs and DOD agencies.

* * *

Denis GranvilleProgram ManagerSystem Resources Corp.

Thanks to the work of Granville and his team at SRC, the Coast Guard now has a system to get information where and when it's needed—even on-board a cutter.

The Law Enforcement Information System (LEIS) II gives the agency's drug interdiction forces real-time access to the most recent data at the central database in Martinsburg, W.Va., even as it is updated by other tactical units at more than 500 remote sites.

Granville and his colleagues worked with the Coast Guard for nearly two years to field and support LEIS II and to ensure it measures up to the exacting standards required by the agency's drug interdiction forces. As project manager, Granville earned the confidence of Coast Guard counterparts by his sure-handed, dependable management.

He has more than a decade of management experience as well as 25 years' involvement with software development. His strength "is his ability to get maximum efficiency from his staff," one Coast Guard official said.

* * *

Tom GreenExecutive Vice PresidentComputer Data Systems Inc.

Thanks in part to the organizational skills Green brought to his work for the Department of Education, about a million students last year were able to afford college.

As project leader for Education's William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program contract, Green was instrumental in developing what has become one of the largest loan-origination programs. The program hit the 1 million loan mark in January and will eventually handle more than 3 million loans, valued at more than $7.5 billion to 1,400 colleges and universities.

Green completed the job under intense pressure to get the system running in time to process loans for the school year. But his organizational skills brought the CDSI component of the modernization in on time and within budget.

* * *

Bill GreenwaltChief InvestigatorSenate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and the District of Columbia

Behind every bill that Congress passes is a "detail person" like Greenwalt—someone who takes broad policy prescriptions, translates them into legislation and keeps track of the many changes that are made along the way. The fast pace of procurement and IT management reform legislation last year demanded these skills in abundance.

As part of Sen. William Cohen's IT team, Greenwalt wove creative and controversial ideas into Cohen's legislation. His perspective—that agencies needed to be made more accountable for their IT successes and failures—came from nearly a dozen years of researching Defense acquisitions in the United States and Europe.

Unlike some legislative technicians, Greenwalt never hid in his office. Throughout the process, he acted as an ambassador for ideas that were not universally popular, expounding on Cohen's proposal to numerous gatherings of vendors, procurement lawyers and the government acquisition workforce.

During conference with the House, Greenwalt worked hard to keep Cohen's vision intact. "He managed all of the many changes and technical revisions that were made to the bill," said Ellen Brown, who, as the lead House staff person on procurement reform, often sat at the table with Greenwalt. "He knew where we were going, and he knew where Sen. Cohen wanted to go."

* * *

Maryann S. HaffeySenior Computer SpecialistGeneral Services Administration

Described as a visionary by her co-workers, Haffey led GSA onto the World Wide Web, recognizing its potential as a means to disseminate federal IT policy.

Haffey has been the catalyst behind GSA's IT Policy OnRamp, a Web site devoted to making IT policy and information available to users at all levels of government, private industry and the general public. The OnRamp also solicits feedback from federal employees on the types of programs they want and use.

Tony Trenkle, GSA's Federal Acquisition Computer Network program manager, said Haffey initiated the project and then saw it through to the end. "She really came up with the whole idea," he said. "She personally brought the IT area onto the Internet and moved all of the policy stuff onto the World Wide Web."

Trenkle said Haffey was able to complete the development of the OnRamp in less than two months—months that saw her working into the night and even on weekends.

Haffey also taught many of her colleagues how to use the Internet and found time to teach related courses at DOD's IRM College.

* * *

Francis W. HartelSenior Information Resources Management OfficerNational Institutes of Health

If Hartel hadn't chosen the computer field as a career, he might well have made a swell arbitrator. Managing and developing systems for the 22 fiercely autonomous institutes, centers and divisions that make up NIH definitely takes a cross between a technician and a diplomat.

"This really is a consensus-building environment, and Frank's very collaborative," said Dona Lenkin, a colleague in the IRM office. "He's able to do that because he's willing to take a different slant on a problem, come up with a vision and goal and then fit that into this environment."

A perfect example last year was Hartel's Risk Analysis Methodology (RAM), which permits IT managers throughout NIH to easily analyze their systems. RAM is user-friendly, asking users to input simple facts about their systems, such as the number of desktop operating systems, nodes and modems.

Simplicity was a key, but so was useful analysis. "Some people here are technology zealots, and some are technophobes," Hartel said. "They're all over the chart."

RAM works. So much so that other agencies are looking at RAM to determine if it can solve their risk-analysis needs.

* * *

James J. HastingsDirector, Records Appraisal and DispositionNational Archives and Records Administration

There's nothing more nerve-wracking than doing your job with a judge looking over your shoulder. Hastings withstood such scrutiny for two years as he crafted the e-mail record-keeping regulations that took effect last summer.

It was the high-profile "Profs" case involving preservation of White House e-mail records that put the regulations on NARA's agenda in the first place. The courts told the government that e-mail messages were records just as much as paper documents, but agencies had no guidance as to what to save and how to save it.

Hastings devised a formula that would satisfy the record keepers as well as the researchers and government watchdog groups that wanted access to the digital documents.

Along the way, Hastings gave DOJ valuable advice that helped the agency reach a settlement in the case. Those who worked closely with Hastings said he brought professionalism, humor and creativity to what were often difficult negotiations.

"He had to stick with it for a long time and go through some unbelievably difficult, long meetings," said his boss, James Moore, assistant archivist for records administration. "His persistence and dedication were key elements" in his success.

"Jim was able to take a very gnarly pill and coat it enough for the courts to swallow it, the government agencies to swallow it and the plaintiffs in the case to swallow it," said Eddie Becker, a researcher who was one of the "Profs" plaintiffs. "He put the meaning back into the Archives mandate" to keep federal records available to the public.

* * *

Ronald T. HewittCommander, U.S. Coast GuardChief, Systems Planning Branch

This summer Hewitt will be given a "very good command assignment," according to Rear Adm. D.E. Ciancaglini. That plum will be in recognition of an outstanding job in shaping the Coast Guard's IRM investment strategy. It's a fair deal. Hewitt's work already has earned the Coast Guard a citation by GAO as one of the IRM "best practices" in government.

The Coast Guard, which spends more than $150 million a year on IT, needed someone to restructure its investment strategy from the top down—not looking at individual procurements but analyzing the processes used to decide where and how to spend money throughout the agency's multifarious programs.

Hewitt was the right man for the job. Not only did he show a knack for long-range planning—something Coast Guard executives said is rare enough—he also demonstrated a remarkable ability to "cross boundaries" and get a buy-in from people with different interests and perspectives. Hewitt "can get to an issue quickly and discuss it without antagonizing anyone," one colleague said.

In addition to eliminating nearly 400 of 470 business processes by integrating operations throughout the Coast Guard, Hewitt also helped establish criteria the agency will use to evaluate IRM spending. "It really puts us in very nice stead," Ciancaglini said.

* * *

Christopher W. HoenigDirectorIRM Policies and Issues GroupGeneral Accounting Office

Hoenig's middle name should be "best practices." A management consultant before coming to GAO, he's become the government's most vocal champion of applying successful private-sector IT management techniques in federal agencies. Those familiar with his work give him much of the credit for the way agencies are changing their IT investment strategies.

Last year evidence of Hoenig's work turned up everywhere, from new OMB budget evaluation guidelines to major IT management legislation. Meanwhile, Hoenig took his expertise into the trenches, leading the IRS step by step through an assessment of its management practices that resulted in a new approach to managing Tax Systems Modernization.

He's succeeded because he does his homework and knows how to get his message across to busy agency executives.

"He was able to bring enough rigor to those discussions to make a compelling case," said Stephen Holden, the IRS official who worked most closely with Hoenig on the agency's management assessment. "He has been a very vital contributor."

* * *

Jane HolmanDeputy DirectorProgram Systems ServiceDepartment of Education

Most large programs in government create a lot of internal friction, and Holman proved to be the oil that smoothed the progress of Education's Direct Student Loan Program.

Considered one of the successes of the Clinton administration, it was pulled together in a very short time after its enactment in 1993.

In 1995 it was expected to originate more than 2 million student loans—a bigger annual loan volume than most commercial banks handle.

As the person in charge of ADP support for the program, Holman's job was to quickly pull together the design features and acquisition requirements and to ensure the necessary level of communication among the contractor, Education and college participants throughout the country.

The fact that the system managed to handle the large loan volumes "with ease" when it became fully operational in 1995 was largely due to Holman's work, colleagues said.

* * *

Arnold HolzChief Financial OfficerNASA

Holz knew exactly how to change course and get a crucial project back on the right track.

When he took his job as chief financial officer at NASA, he faced an in-house financial system project that was costing the agency big money but delivering very little. The system, called the NASA Accounting and Financial Information and System, was behind schedule and over budget.

Holz made the bo

Featured

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.